Reb Nahman was one of the many kabbalists who believed that the proper way to remain attached to God was ever to contemplate the four-letter name Y-H-W-H and to actually see the letters of the divine name always before him. He was a preacher, and it was said that when Reb Nahman looked out at the faces of those to whom he spoke, he was able to see the letters of the divine name reflected back to him. But then times changed and the preacher was forced to become a merchant. In the marketplace, amid the rapid pace of buying and selling, he found it harder always to concentrate on the name of God. So we are told that he hired a special assistant who came with him wherever he went. That person's function was to remind him of God's name. Whenever he looked at the face of his assistant, Reb Nahman would remember the name of God.

My own best guess about Reb Nahman Kossover's assistant, the image of whom has followed me around all these years, is that his face was quite ordinary. He was simply a human being, another human being made in God's image. But he was there to serve as a reminder. Reb Nahman looked at a human being, and in the very ordinariness of that human face he remembered to concentrate on the eternal, mysterious, and ineffable name.

Arthur Green, Seek My Face